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Sky Lacroux has finally realized her dream and opened her own tattoo shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She’s happy as can be, preparing the shop for its grand opening and renting a cottage in the Seaside community while renovations to her new apartment are being completed. The only thing missing is the one thing she longs for, and has no control over—love.
Sawyer Bass, a professional boxer, plays his guitar at a local bar to escape the painful reality of his father’s deteriorating health and a recent health warning of his own. But when he spots a stunning brunette across the room, escaping reality goes out the window, and the beautiful woman becomes the focus of his next song—and maybe even the rest of his life.
When Sawyer walks into Sky’s tattoo shop and sees the woman from the bar—Sky—the chemistry between them is instant. Sawyer is everything Sky could ever hope for in a man. He’s honest, loving, sensitive, and potently virile—but boxing goes against everything Sky believes in. The closer they become, the more she realizes that her alpha boxer is waging his own emotional battle—only the battle she thinks he’s waging isn’t the one that threatens to tear them apart.
Nights at Seaside is the sweet edition of the steamy romance novel Seaside Nights by Melissa Foster
“I CAN’T BELIEVE in a few short weeks the apartment and the tattoo shop will be completely renovated. Blue, you’re amazing!” Sky Lacroux shoved her favorite poetry book into her patchwork purse and locked the front doors of her shop. She waited for a few people to pass before stepping back on the busy sidewalk to admire it. She still had to paint the exterior and the sign above the doors and wait for the interior renovations to be done, but as she took in the narrow building she now owned, pride swelled inside her chest.
Inky Skies was located on Commercial Street, the busiest street in the artsy community of Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was sandwiched between her friend Lizzie Barber’s flower shop, P-town Petals, which was painted light blue with flowers and greenery climbing up the columns out front, and the bright purple game store, Puzzle Me This. Sky planned on painting Inky Skies bright yellow, and as Blue Ryder, one of her best friends, threw his arm around her and dragged her away from the shop, she felt like she was walking on a cloud. Now, if only the universe would magically step in and find her the perfect man to share her joy with.
Yeah, right. Like that was going to happen in a primarily gay and lesbian community, especially with the way she worked all the time. Not likely. Her brother Hunter fell into step on her other side. Definitely not likely with these two guarding me closer than Fort Knox.
“Are you still planning a big grand opening, even though the shop has been open since you bought it?” Blue asked. He’d been one of Sky’s best friends since she’d moved back to the Cape from New York three summers ago, to run her father’s hardware store while he went into rehab to deal with an alcohol addiction. Thankfully, her father had remained sober after rehab and was back to running his store, which had enabled Sky to move out and fulfill her dream of opening her own tattoo shop. Two months earlier she’d purchased the tattoo shop where she’d been working part-time, and Blue, a specialty builder, was renovating both the shop and the apartment above it for her.
“Heck, yes, I am. It doesn’t matter that it’s been open during renovations. I still need to celebrate Inky Skies—my dream, my passion, my…”
Blue groaned, and Sky laughed and poked him in the side as they crossed at the corner on their way to meet their friends.
“And you’re both coming,” she said. “Like it or not.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m proud of you, sis.” Hunter put a hand on Sky’s forearm as they came to a curb and a bike whipped past.
“Hunter, I know how to stop at a curb, thank you very much.” She rolled her eyes at her protective older brother.
She was used to being watched over, considering her four older brothers—and her slightly overprotective friend, Blue—had been doing it for years, but at twenty-six, with a new business and a new apartment, she was ready to spread her wings.
“Hey, just keepin’ you safe.” Hunter kept his dark hair shaved close to his head, and with his dark eyes and bulky muscles, he had an edge to him, but the playful grin he flashed softened all of that edginess, revealing the bighearted brother Sky adored.
“Hey, sugar!” A friendly drag queen, who went by Marcus during the day and Maxine when he performed, waved from across the street. He’d lost his lover, Howie, to cancer a couple of years ago, and as much as Sky wished he’d fall in love again, she knew from the look in Marcus’s eyes when he spoke of Howie that what they’d shared was a once-in-a-lifetime type of love.
Ever since four of her friends had gotten married last summer, she longed to experience that kind of love, too.
“Hi, Marcus,” Sky called. “No show tonight?” During the day, families came to shop, sightsee, and enjoy street performers, but at night, P-town turned into a colorful world of drag queens, dance clubs, and comedians.
“My night off.” Marcus said something that made the man he was with laugh. Then he hollered, “I see you have your bodyguards with you again. Hey, Blue. Hi, Hunter. When you get tired of watching over Sky, come watch over me.”
Blue laughed. “You couldn’t handle me, bro.”
“Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to try,” Marcus teased.
Blue was straight as an arrow, but Marcus loved to tease him. Sky had quickly fallen in love with the whole community when she’d begun working at the tattoo shop. It might not be conducive to meeting a guy she’d want to actually spend time getting to know in a romantic sense—it had been forever since she’d met a guy like that—but she loved the diversity of the area and the warmth of the people. Provincetown felt like home.
They weaved through throngs of people toward a crowd gathered outside of the Governor Bradford Restaurant, where Blue had handled renovations last year. At six two and six three, with linebacker shoulders and movie-star good looks, it was easy for Hunter and Blue to part the crowd as they guided Sky inside. Governor Bradford’s was dimly lit, with a bar to the left, a small stage and dance floor across from the entrance, and a restaurant area to the right of the stage. The scent of fried foods and sage hung in the air.
She followed Blue around the dance floor, stopping at a table of bearded guys who had come into the shop earlier in the day for tattoos and leaned in to hug one of them. Sky got to know most of her customers while she tatted them up.
“Hey, guys. I hope you’re going to sing for open mic night.”
“Trust me, you don’t wanna hear us sing,” the burliest of them said with a laugh.
“Chicken,” Sky teased as Blue took her hand and dragged her to the far side of the dance floor, where her sister-in-law, Jenna, and their friends Bella Grant and Amy Black were waiting for them.
“Finally.” Jenna stood up to hug Sky. She was four foot eleven, with curves that rivaled Marilyn Monroe’s, and at five months pregnant she looked even more voluptuous. “I see your bodyguards got you here safely.”
Sky laughed. “I love your haircut!” Jenna had cut a few inches off of her long brown hair. It now hung just past her shoulders.
“Thanks. It’s my summer cut,” Jenna said, patting her hair.
Sky reached around Bella’s burgeoning belly to hug her, then did the same with Amy. “You guys are like the beach-ball-belly twins. I can’t believe you’re both eight months pregnant—and that your hubbies are still letting you go to open mic night.”
“They know we need our P-town nights. Besides, they’re all out on Pete’s boat with your dad.” Bella looked at Hunter and Blue. “Why didn’t you guys go?”
Hunter was busy ordering drinks from a raven-haired waitress.
“I worked late on Sky’s renovations.” Blue pulled out a chair for Sky.
“I’m sorry,” Sky said, patting his back as she sat beside him. “But I do appreciate your hard work, and I even tried to get Lizzie to meet us tonight.” She wiggled her brows. “I tried to hook you up. The way you and Duke were lusting after Lizzie at the wedding, I thought for sure you’d ask her out by now.”
“She is hot,” Hunter said, eyes locked on a group of blond women across the bar.
Blue ran a hand through his thick dark hair and shrugged. “I’ve been busy.”
“For a year?” Bella asked.
“She’s come out with us several times over the past year,” he said as he draped an arm across the back of Sky’s chair.
“Yes. Us. I said you should ask her out.” Sky shook her head, and a disconcerting thought hit her as the waitress brought their drinks. “Oh, gosh, Blue. Do you think we spend too much time together? Am I monopolizing you? Have I blocked you?”
“No, you didn’t block me,” Blue said with a laugh. “Have I…blocked you?”
Relieved, she said, “No. I’ve just decided that the next guy I date has to be someone who’s really soulful and gets me, and around here, that’s slim pickin’s.”
Blue raised his beer with a smirk. “Guys are not exactly soulful.”
“No kidding,” Hunter said.
“Oh, come on. There are soulful people all around. It just takes some looking,” Jenna began scanning the bar. “I’m on a manhunt for Sky.”
“Okay, enough find-my-sister-a-man talk,” Hunter said. “I looked at the sign-up sheet. They have a great lineup tonight. Comedians, karaoke, and see that guy over there?” He pointed to a guy sitting by himself at the bar with a guitar leaning against his leg. His dark T-shirt revealed sculpted biceps and strong forearms, and the fabric clung to the contours of his muscular chest. One arm rested casually on the arm of his chair, the other across his lap, his finger wrapped around the neck of a guitar. He had hair the color of night and thick scruff covering a strong jawline. His eyes were narrowed and locked on a group of people across the room, like he was studying them or deep in thought. Sky couldn’t tell which.
“He played about two months ago, and he’s amazing.” Hunter glanced at his sister. “You’ll love him, Sky.”
“Holy mother of hotness.” Jenna grabbed Bella’s arm. “Where did that guy come from?”
“You’re married,” Amy reminded her.
“And preggers.” Bella patted Jenna’s belly. “Pete would kick his butt if he even looked at you.” Sky’s brother was a little protective of his wife.
“My interest is already piqued by that handsome creature,” Sky said more to herself than the others.
“I don’t want to hear that. I just thought you’d like his music.” Hunter eyed the man across the room. “He looks a little rough, Sky. Not your hippie, earthy type.”
Sky ignored her brother’s evaluation. Yes, she had an earthy style and believed in fate and destiny and all things a little bit magical, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t ogle a hot guy who might not be her typical type.
While Bella, Amy, and Jenna talked about their plans for their babies and Blue and Hunter talked about work and women, Sky went back to checking out the dark-eyed man who hadn’t so much as shifted his position.
The host announced the next karaoke singer, and they listened to a squeaky rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” People danced and sang as they moved through several other moderately talented singers. Sky was about to pull out her poetry book, which was far more interesting than the singers, when the host called out, “Sawyer Bass,” and the guy with the guitar rose and stretched, giving Sky an eyeful of just how hot he really was. Black biker boots carried him across the floor. His guitar strap was slung casually over one shoulder, as if he were carrying an old piece of lumber.
Blue bumped her with his elbow and handed her a napkin.
“What’s that for?” she asked, eyes still on Sawyer Bass. He even has a hot name.
Check out the rest of the chapter at: https://addisoncole.com/sneak-peek-nights-seaside/
Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language.
Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.
Visit Addison on her website or chat with her on social media. Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.
Links to Addison’s website, blog, books, etc.
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